Gregg Hadd worked in a tall office building in the downtown section of Chicago. Gregg had an indispensable fear of elevators, well; it wasn't so much fear as it was the fact that he just didn't trust them, who in their right mind would? These things are made to transport schools of people up and down, suspended by a few cables. The only thing between life and death is a long drop down. Gregg took the stairs instead. Every day. During the 10 or so minutes it took him, he had never seen another person using the stairwell; they all placed too much trust in the elevator. Climbing the stairs proved to be quite a workout, as Gregg's office was on the 73rd floor. He even left early for work to make up for the time it took him to climb the stairs. Gregg had never been late for work in all the 3 years and 234 days he had worked there; of course, he didn't even know that, he just didn't like to be late for anything. Gregg was unlike all the other who worked in the building, aside from using the steps. He was different in almost all aspects. The only thing Gregg had for lunch was a can of Pepsi, everyday he packed a can of Pepsi in his cheap, black briefcase While the others would ignorantly sip their store bought coffee, he would be downing a can of Pepsi. It astounded Gregg how much Pepsi he actually drank. He would often spend upwards of $15 a day via the pop machine in the lunchroom. But he only ever brought one from home. It's all he could fit with all the other junk in his case. Gregg also, unlike the others prided himself on his independent work habits; all his other colleagues would all to often gather in the lunchroom to talk over what it was they were doing. The only time Gregg would converse with them was when he walked in to buy a Pepsi, a simple "hi" and a reply were all that were said.
Gregg enjoyed more then anything to work late at night, well after everyone had gone home. He was most often the only person in the building besides a few security guards that were there almost 24 hours a day.
During his late nights working, plugging away mathematical equations and whatnot, he would take a break every so often to just spin around in his swivel chair. It was a finely made chair, made in China, you know. He would wheel himself all around the office, between everyone's desks and cubicles. He would often wheel himself close to the large glass windows and just look down at the almost vacant city streets, kept lit only by dull orange streetlights. With one swift kick of his legs he could slide all the way to the wall opposite the window, he often did this and just slammed against it as he came to a stop, he would them swivel around, feet to the wall, and push off as hard as he could, propelling himself towards the window at quite a speed. Sometimes he would spin out of control, but most of the time he would lightly bump the surprisingly thick glass window. He knew it was a possibility that he could break right through the glass and fall to his death, and that's why he did it. He could always hope for something out of the ordinary to happen. After all working in such a place, and refusing to socialize had made Gregg quite a different person then he once was. He was by no means suicidal, however, as time would tell, he was counting down the days until his demise. There was one person though whom he did sometimes talk to. The janitor, Mike, who worked the late night shifts as well. Over the years they had many a time enjoyed a can of Pepsi as the talked about themselves. Gregg learned over the years, that while his job reaped more benefits and he had a steadier cash flow, he was no more important or intelligent then Mike. Mike was the type of person who could have been anything he wanted. He often told of how he went to college hoping for a well paying job along the lines of what Gregg had, but now, he enjoyed being a janitor, like some kind of a drug, his career choice had quite a hold on him. Gregg often wished to be a janitor instead. Sitting in front of a computer pressing on the keys could only hide your insanity for so long. Or as it seems, could rob you of your sanity.
One late night as Gregg was finishing his 12th can of Pepsi he thought to himself what the world might be like through someone else's eyes. He, even with all the Pepsi in his system, fell asleep at his desk for the first time in 3 years and 279 days while dreaming about what the world would be like through somebody else's eyes.
Of course, dreams can be a weird thing, even weirder were Gregg's. That night he dreamed of lying in a field with dark blue grass, the air smelled of salt water, and a warm light breeze rustled his hair from time to time. He just lay there, relaxing. Finally bringing himself to his feet, he took a look around. Deer, he saw thousands of colorful deer. Blue ones, red ones, pink ones, green ones, all chewing on the oddly colored grass. He let out a laugh. Something hit him hard in the head. Gregg looked up and could not believe his eyes. It was raining, indeed but it was raining cans of Pepsi. They were falling in slow motion but when they hit him, it hurt. Gregg quickly sought refuge under a large tree. The deer seemed to be unfazed by the Pepsi rain. He quickly gathered up an armful of Pepsi, and sat on the ground, drinking all he could all the while enjoying the view. It goes without saying that Gregg was amazingly happy. He had never felt this kind of happiness before. Here he was alone with multicolored deer and Pepsi, my god, the Pepsi! for once in his life, he was happy, he had reached the kind of life he had always longed for. After several cans of Pepsi had been downed Gregg was interrupted by someone yelling. He wasn't happy. Gregg liked to be alone.
A short man wearing a purple bunny suit appeared. "Gregg?" he asked. "What?" Gregg had replied, visually upset. "Do you like it here?" the man asked. "Is this heaven?" Gregg asked with real purpose in his voice. "Oh no my dear boy, this isn't heaven. Heaven is for the deceased, you sir, are still alive, this is your world, but you are only visiting. You see, you live in someone else's world. Someone else is controlling you and making your decisions for you. You're merely a puppet; put on earth to be someone's stepping stone. You have become all that you ever will, are you happy with that?" "I'm happy here," Gregg said, trailing off. "Well then, you best make the change to a better world, we cant have unhappy folk, such as yourself, when you make that change, I'll be here and I'll tell you all about your world. "Great" Gregg replied, "How exactly can I do that?" "Not now, I've places to go, people to rid the world of, you know, strictly business." Said the man. "And, I'm afraid visiting hours are over".
And with that Gregg found himself slumped over his desk, his tie stuffed in his mouth. He shrugged off what he determined to be another one of his weird dreams and walked to the lunchroom. Gregg slid a dollar into the machine. Pushed a button, which was labeled "Pepsi" and waited. Nothing. He pushed the button several times. Nothing. He waited before noticing a flashing light proudly displaying "sold out".
You would think a man such as Gregg Hadd's would be able to put up with not having a drink. But it wasn't so. Gregg was sick of life's little imperfect moments. He frantically searched his desk, tossing empty aluminum cans aside with little care. Then it hit him.
This wasn't his world. He didn't belong here. He fell down into his chair and looked out the window. Quite a drop he thought. And with that he wheeled himself to the other side of the building. Feet against the wall. He pushed off, at an alarming rate of speed. He lost his balance and fell out of the chair.
Life's little imperfect moments.
He got back up to his feet, into the chair, and pushed himself back to the wall, as he slammed into it a large framed oil painting of the very same building he was in fell off the wall and slammed into his head.
Life's little imperfect moments.
He finally shrugged it off and regained control of himself. Feet against the wall, he pushed off at a high rate of speed. .He didn't belong here. Back first, Gregg slammed against the glass, hard, it knocked the wind out of him for a moment, he heard the shatter then he felt coldness. And with that, realized he was plummeting out of the building towards the dark streets 73 floors below. Gregg's head hit the pavement first, shattering his skull and breaking his neck. Gregg was now a smear on the pavement. Gregg was now happy. He didn't belong here.
Written and owned by Dan Chubaty 2001